Earlier this week was our last village sewing circle before Christmas and so we celebrated with mulled wine and mince pies. I had carols playing whilst I made the pies and for the first time this year felt very Christmassy! We had three different types of mince pie - pistachio crumble, orange and cream cheese and these cherry frangipane pies. These were the most popular!
Cherry Frangipane Pies
Makes 20, preparation time 20 minutes cooking time 15 - 20 minutes
500g sweet shortcrust pastry
200g/7oz self raising flour
85g/3oz ground almonds
100g/3 1/2 oz glace cherries, chopped
55g/2oz caster sugar
1 tsp almond essence
icing sugar for dusting
Grease two bun tins with butter. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to 1/2 cm thickness and cut out 20 circles using a 2 1/2 inch cutter. Press a circle of pastry into each hole in the tin and fill with a spoonful of the mincemeat. Place the flour and ground almonds in a bowl, cut the butter into small cubes and rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips. Add the cherries, caster sugar and almond essence so that you have a soft dough. Place a spoonful of the cherry dough onto each mince pie and bake in a hot oven Gas Mark 5/190/375 for 15 - 20 minutes until the topping is golden and the pastry is crisp. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx